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Manchester High School for Girls

FAKE NEWS? STUDENTS AT MHSG LEARN TO DIG DEEPER

Identifying ‘fake’ from real news is just one of the critical thinking skills students at Manchester High School for Girls will be learning about as they welcome Mike Fleetham, education consultant and author, to launch the School’s first ‘Big Think’ week today, Monday 12th March.

The teaching and learning expert will talk to students about the importance of independent thinking and how they process information. Facts can be ‘Googled’ in an instant, but questioning and reflecting on knowledge takes time and practice, as Mike explains:

“Our children need skills and knowledge for a successful future. Manchester High’s approach is to equip students with both for maximum chance of success in life, work and learning. My visit to the school is to demonstrate how you can teach and learn thinking skills at the same time as important subject knowledge.”

Students in Year 7 taking the first Big Think challenge.

Mike will deliver lessons in the Preparatory Department and Senior School as they delve into activities such as code breaking, mindful translation or finding flaws in historical evidence. He will also present a ‘Big Think’ workshop for parents at the end of the school day.

Jennie Hodson, Deputy Head Mistress (Teaching and Learning) at Manchester High School for Girls, said: “At Manchester High, we place great emphasis on our girls’ personal development, and, the ability to think independently is a fundamental part of that.

“Encouraging our students to enjoy analytical thinking will enable them to feel more confident about taking that step and looking at information more critically. It’s therefore important that we also speak to parents about developing these skills at home when girls are studying or busy with their hobbies.”

Through the rest of the week, students’ thinking skills will be put to the test in the classroom with a range of exercises, workshops with Happy Puzzle Company, and the best thinking will be put into the ‘Think Tank’ for a chance to win prizes.

Jennie Hodson concluded: “We hope that, by the time our girls leave MHSG, they will be self-determining individuals; able to distinguish ‘fake’ from real news, judge the quality of an argument and solve problems creatively. These skills will give them invaluable tools to flourish, not just in the world of education and work, but in all aspects of their lives.”